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Upstate casinos haven’t been billed by NYS for $13M in fees, per Comptroller’s audit

There are still a lot of unpaid fees among New York’s casinos. Specifically, the four casinos opened in Upstate New York owe a total of $13 million in fees.

An audit, which was reported earlier this month by The Buffalo News, highlighted the issues that Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found.

The costs to regulate casinos in New York State is supposed to be shouldered by the casinos themselves, but the state Gaming Commission has let some of them slide on this responsibility,” Dinapoli said in a statement. “That has unfairly shifted expenses to taxpayers. The commission should bill all casinos for oversight costs in a timely manner and come up with a plan to handle disputes with casinos over these charges as soon as possible.”

Altogether, $13 million was not collected at the four casinos located in Seneca, Tioga, Schenectady and Sullivan counties. To make matters worse, those funds had they been collected, could have grown through interest-bearing accounts or been added to state education aid payments, the Buffalo News reported.

“We found the commission is not adequately overseeing the reimbursements of regulatory oversight costs,” the audit read. Instead of the companies paying costs of oversight, which was the plan from the start, the state has been left to subsidize the commission’s regulatory functions.

Meanwhile, the agency’s response was bold, given the audit finding: “The Commission appropriately waited for the conclusion of the regulatory process, which established rules and methodologies for regulatory fee assessment, before issuing its invoices,” it read. They called the implication that the state failed to bill the casinos “patently false and they know it, as all such expenses have been secured by the Commission-used license.”

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